I attended today the unveiling of the Thomas Wolsey Statue by invitation of the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr John Le Grys, and the Patrons of the Cardinal Thomas Wolsey Appeal.
There was great celebration amongst those who processed from St Mary Le Tower to the site of the unveiling at the junction of St Peters Street, Silent Street and St Nicholas Street. The large solid statue was most impressive. But why? Four reasons were given as to why Thomas Wolsey a ‘son of Ipswich” should be honoured.
- Cllr John le Grys spoke of his ‘responsibility and provision for the poor.’
- Judge John Deveaux, Honourary Recorder of Ipswich, spoke of his service to the state as head of the judiciary for 14 years where ‘he was conscientious.’
- Dr John Blatchly, former Head of Ipswich School and champion of the whole project spoke of Wolsey’s great contribution to education saying that he was ‘far in advance of his time’ and that he taught that ‘pleasure should mingle with study.’
- Rt Revd Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, spoke of his contribution to the church as chaplain to Henry VII and Henry VIII and of his role as Archbishop of Your and Cantebury.
It was though Thomas Wolsey’s contribution to education, from which this area benefitted, that seemed to be the driving motivation for Dr Blatchly. Wolsey gave the teaching masters this advice:
‘Pleasure is to mingle with study, that the boy may think learning rather an amusement than a toil. Tender youth is to suffer neither severe thrashings nor sour and threatening looks, nor any kind of tyranny, for by such usage the fire of genius is either extinguished or in great measure damped.’